Medical card system finally more humane

Recurring political failures in the medical card system being addressed by Minister Varadkar


Fine Gael TD for Dublin Fingal, Alan Farrell has said that the enhancements announced to the medical card scheme will make the system fairer and more humane.


“The reforms which will be made to the medical card scheme will ensure that a fairer system is put in place while removing the burden of worry faced by many people who cannot afford medical care or who have a serious illness. I know many people throughout Dublin Fingal have been stressed and worried about losing their medical card, and I hope these changes will reassure those with serious illnesses that they will receive the treatment they require.


“The Expert Panel which was appointed to review the medical card system has concluded that the use of financial means-test remains the fairest way of assessing eligibility. However, an enhanced assessment process will be put in place to ensure that flexibility is given to those with serious and financially demanding medical conditions.


“I welcome the fact that people with terminal illnesses who no longer have to undergo medical card reviews. Furthermore, people with serious illnesses, who currently have discretionary medical cards, can rest assured that will retain their card pending the implementation of these changes.


“Another significant measure which will be implemented focuses on the removal of much of the red-tape surrounding applications for medical cards, GP-visit cards, the Long-Term Illness Scheme and the Drugs-Payment Scheme. Minister Varadkar has directed the HSE to develop a single, integrated process to streamline the process for each of these applications. In addition to this, access points will be established in health offices throughout the country to assist people with their applications.


“I am glad that the medical card scheme will become more flexible, and take the burden people with serious illnesses face into account when determining their eligibility. For too long the system has been overly bureaucratic and unfair. I hope that these reforms will provide people in Dublin Fingal with reassurances that they will receive the medical care they need.”